A Fall Without Football

At the beginning of the lockdown insanity in March one of my clients began sending me funny memes every day. We both knew we needed to take the virus seriously even as the information changed almost daily. We also knew that in the long run laughter truly is the best medicine.

As the months have slogged by coaching families have held our breaths wondering what summer practices would look like, if they would even happen, and then of course how complex the rules would end up being just to have practice. It’s truly felt much like this meme:

A Crazy and Complex Summer

Summer practices were more complex to plan and prepare for than execute. Regardless of the precautions the risk of exposing multiple families to the virus always weighed heavily on our minds. I confess I found myself watching Ordell more than once for signs of exhaustion.

The challenge of social distancing is mental as well as physical. We had a small glimpse into the life of an essential worker. The preparation for practice included masks, temperature checks, zoom calls, and all the regular practice planning. This window reinforced my understanding of the immense stress many people are shouldering week in and week out.

It’s been six months of taking extra precautions, avoiding people when out exercising or grocery shopping, and smiling at someone from afar only to realize they have no idea because they can’t see a smile under a mask. It doesn’t feel normal and it’s still exhausting.

Leadership Decisions

Every state is making different decisions about athletics, school attendance, church attendance, and restaurants. Each decision has a ripple affect on the community. Businesses are closing, people are getting sick, bills are piling up, and as fears and stress increase fuses shorten.

The Illinois High School Athletic association announced in late July that our football season would begin in February. As soon as a decision was announced I felt immediate relief.

At least for a few months, we have a reprieve from the daily unknown in one area of our lives. There are still doubts as to whether we’ll play any of the season, some games, or all of our reduced schedule. Regardless, those decisions are months away, and in the meantime, there isn’t anything that we can do to change the outcome.

It’s impossible to know what the future holds. We know there are long-term effects of this virus that impact people physically. Because of this, I’m choosing to trust that the leaders charged with making decisions are working hard to make the best choices while considering the largest group of people possible.

A Fall Without Football Might Include Other Adventures

With our fall weekends open for the first time ever it would be the perfect opportunity to embrace new adventures. However, at this point very little of normal life is available to explore.

A fall without football might include some travel if we find that there are safe routes. It could also include weekend visitors. It’s likely to include time on the tennis court as well as some long walks.

We’ll strive to find moments of normal as often as possible and when the weeks don’t allow for much time away from our work routine we’ll look for reasons to laugh in the minutes of quiet.

Here’s to 2020, the year we’ll all look back on with a sigh of relief as we say goodbye and good riddance.

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